Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sunny Ralfini: Goodbye to a Friend


The worst thing you have to do as a journalist is write of a friend’s passing. I just learned this evening that my friend, the great Sunny Ralfini, has died from cancer. Sunny (she’s on the far left in the picture) was married for 30 years to Ian Ralfini (standing next to her), one of the terrific music men still in the record biz; he’s been running Manhattan and Blue Note Records at EMI for the last several years. Sunny was well known in the music business. She ran the Nordoff Robbins charity for years and years, was popular, loved, and well respected. She was also my neighbor. We had long talks on the front stoop, gossiped about everyone.

Here is the text that I’ve reprinted from her obit in the New York Times. What a glorious person, and how sad that we won’t be able to chew the fat anymore. Sunny, you will be missed. Condolences to Ian Ralfini, but that doesn’t seem enough.

Sunny Schnier, passed away on July 3rd after a courageous battle with cancer. Sunny was the beloved wife of Ian Ralfini for over 30 years. She was the devoted daughter of Noma and Henry Schnier, loving sister of Stan Schnier, caring stepmother of Nina Ralfini and caring aunt to Michael Schnier and Jem Schofield. Sunny was born in Carbondale and grew up in Scranton Village, PA. After graduation from Penn State, Sunny had a successful career in television production, public relations, music management and fund raising. She produced “In Concert”, a series on ABC for which she won an Emmy. She was instrumental in the successful careers of Grammy award winning recording artists and raised money for the care and treatment of autistic children through her work with the Nordorf-Robbins Foundation. Sunny was a kind, loving, intelligent woman with impeccable style and taste, who charmed her friends and family. She kept us laughing with her keen sense of humor and lived up to her name by lighting up our lives with her bright smile. She will be missed by those who knew and loved her. The funeral will be private.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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